Saturday, October 22, 2011

From the Trenches: Living

I posted a while back on my personal blog about how teens who write are awesome, basically because we do it because we love it, without pressure. If we're unagented/unpublished, we aren't worrying about deadlines. We don't have bills to pay. Sure, in the hazy future of "sometime," we want to be supporting ourselves on a writer's salary, but right now? Right now we can float along with what-ifs and dreams.

Here's the second part of why teens who write are awesome: adolescence.

"What?" you're saying. "Adolescence SUCKS! Everyone hates me. I spend all my time wanting to cry in my bedroom. I can't wait until I grow up and people take me seriously!"

Notice the dramatics?

I feel for you, oh outraged writer-friend. I really do. But look at your problems and your drama and your angst through your writing lens, and you'll see something very interesting:





All that lovely stuff that makes a novel. And, if you're writing YA (like most of you), take advantage of the years you are the same as your characters. Of the moments when you, too, are going through the highs and lows that you likely will not have as an adult.

Right now it feels like everything is the end of the world. Channel that. Next time that boyfriend who cheated on you spends an hour talking to you after school, alone, messing with your head, and you see him the next day making out with the girl with whom he cheated on you, take that shot through the heart. Remember how it feels.

Next time your coach tells you that you aren't going hard enough, memorize how frustrated, angry, despressed you are. Think about how much you hate him, yes, but also how much you hate yourself.

We aren't alive because we walk, talk, breathe.

We are alive because we feel.

And as teens, with hormones and firsts of everything, we feel the most.

So go on. Live.

If you spend your life curled in front of your computer, how will you ever write realistically?

Tell me: do you think you spend a balance living and writing? Or are you skewed one way or the other?


  1. This is good!

    I love living and I love life, so it's kind of easy to have a balance. My love language is quality time, and I love people (yes! even though I'm an introvert!) so if I'm not with people, I start getting depressed. So when I need to be alone, I WRITE. And when I need to be around people, I LIVE. :)

  2. I'm rather skewed towards writing, at the moment--not having school, too old for youth group(sadness...), & living across town from my friends kind of puts a damper on the social aspect of my life. Hopefully that shall change soon, but for now, writing!